Tall Dwarfs are coming to America for the first time in 13 years! Last time they came, I missed them because I didn't get tickets in time and their show at Maxwell's in Hoboken sold out. Not going to make that mistake this time. Not even for a show in the city on a school night. (Fortunately, their second show in New York is the day before a day I was going to take vacation for already anyway....)
I've seen erstwhile Dwarf Chris Knox on a number of occasions, and he puts on a hell of a show. This is going to be fun....
Posted at 7:57 AM
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I had heard rumors that there was a documentary coming out about The Minutemen, one of the greatest bands of all time ever. Until tonight, though, I didn't know it was actually finished, and that it was going to be showing this coming week here in New Jersey. Thursday night, at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, We Jam Econo: The Story of The Minutemen. Mmm, incredible music and documentary film, two of my great passions mixed up like peanut butter and chocolate....
Maybe it will come to a town near you, too.
Posted at 11:34 PM
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This one's kind of frightening. Jason Kottke asks how many languages you have in your record collection. This could take weeks to figure out, but here's a first cut based on a couple of hours looking through my CDs.
- Albanian: 3 Mustaphas 3
- Amharic: Alemayehu Eshete, Mahmoud Ahmed, several other volumes in the Ethiopiques series
- Arabic: Khalifa Ould Eide and Dimi Mint Abba, Rasha, 3 Mustaphas 3
- Azmari: Volume 2 of Ethiopiques
- Balinese: Kecak
- Bamanan: Rokia Traore
- Bambara: Super Rail Band
- Basque: Negu Gorriak
- Belarusan: Pesnyarok, Neuro Dubel, Lyapis Trubestskoy
- Bemba: Alick Nkhata
- Beti: Les Têtes Brulées
- Bulgarian: Mystere de Voix Bulgares, Ivo Papasov
- Catalan: Dusminguet
- Chewa: Kamwendo Brothers Band, Alan Namoko & Chimvu Jazz, Kasambwe Brothers, Alick Nkhata
- Czech: Plastic People of the Universe, Matadors, Olympic, Vladimir Misik & Etc. Band, Sto Zvirat, Uz Jsme Doma
- Dioula: Les Zagazougou
- Efik: E. T. Mensah
- English: er....
- Estonian: Kirile Loo
- Ewe: E. T. Mensah
- Fante: E. T. Mensah, The Kumasi Trio
- Finnish: Värttina, dozens others
- French: Serge Gainsbourg, Francoise Hardy
- Fulani: Baaba Maal
- Ga: Saka Acquaye and His African Ensemble, E. T. Mensah
- German: Blumfeld, Wir Sind Helden, Die Goldenen Zitronen, Attwenger, Hundsbuam Miserablige, Die Knödel
- Greek: 3 Mustaphas 3
- Hausa: E. T. Mensah
- Hebrew: 3 Mustaphas 3
- Hindi: 3 Mustaphas 3
- Indonesian: Detty Kurnia, Sabah Habas Mustapha
- Italian: Alan Lomax Italian Treasury
- Japanese: Shonen Knife
- Kreyole: Coupe Cloue
- Latvian: Ingrid Karklins
- Lingala: Franco & O.K. Jazz, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Grand Kalle, Wendo Kolosoy
- Luhiya: Abana ba Nasery
- Luo: D. O. Misiani and Shirati Band
- Macedonian: 3 Mustaphas 3
- Magyar: Muszikas
- Malagasy: Tarika, Tarika Sammy, Jean Emilien, Jaojoby, Rossy
- Mandarin: Cui Jian
- Mandinka: Orchestra Baobab, Boubacar Traore
- Myene: Pierre Akendegue
- Ndebele: African Renaissance - Vol 5
- North Sotho: African Renaissance - Vol 5
- Norwegian: Kirsten Braten Berg, Annbjorg Lien
- Nubian: Ali Hassan Kuban
- Nyanja: Alan Namoko & Chimvu Jazz, Alick Nkhata
- Okinawan: An Chang Project, Shoukichi Kina
- Peul: Ali Farka Toure
- Pidgin: George Telek, Not Drowning, Waving
- Polish: Klinika, Magic Carpathian Band, Warsaw Village Band
- Portuguese: Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66, Os Mutantes
- Pulaar: Baaba Maal
- Punjabi: Bally Sagoo
- Rapa: The Tahitian Choir (Rapa Iti)
- Rom: 3 Mustaphas 3
- Russian: Vladimir Vysotsky, Kino, Aquarium, Sergey Kuriokhin, Popular Mechanics, Leningrad, Tri Debila
- Sami: Mari Boine Persen
- Serbo-Croatian: Boban Markovic Orkestar, Sviraj, 3 Mustaphas 3
- Shona: Thomas Mapfumo, Oliver Mtukudzi, James Chimombe, Bhundu Boys
- Sonrai: Ali Farka Toure
- South Sotho: African Renaissance - Vol 3
- Spanish: Manu Chao, Buena Vista Social Club, too many others to mention
- Swahili: Abana ba Nasery, Mlimini Park Orchestra, Simba Wanyika
- Swazi: African Renaissance - Vol 4
- Swedish: Garmarna
- Tajik: Oleg Fesov
- Tigrigna: Volume 6 of Ethiopiques
- Tolai: George Telek
- Tswana: African Renaissance - Vol 3
- Turkish: 3 Mustaphas 3
- Tuvan: Sainkho, Yat-Kha
- Twi: Koo Nimo
- Ukrainian: Vopli Vidopliasova, Oleg Skrypka, Mandry, Pawlo Humeniuk
- Urdu: Nusrat Ali Fateh Khan
- Uzbek: Yulduz Usmanova
- Venda: African Renaissance - Vol 2
- Vietnamese: Ho! Roady Music from Vietnam
- Wassoulou: Oumou Sangare
- Welsh: Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
- Wolof: Orchestra Baobab, Yousou N'Dour
- Xhosa: African Renaissance - Vol 4
- Yoruba: King Sunny Ade
- Zulu: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Malathini & Mahotella Queens
Note that our albums are still in boxes, so there are probably more, and I couldn't reach some CDs. Plus, some of the CDs I did look at, I wasn't sure what languages they were in. So this is, at a rough guess, maybe 70-80% of the languages in my collection. Or maybe less.
Posted at 12:19 AM
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I'm not a big fan of memes running around the net, but Elaine is a nice person and tagged me, so it would be rude not to participate. What the heck.
Total volume of music on my computer:
28.52 GB. I would have more, but my iPod only holds 20 GB, and I'm running out of space on my main computer anyway. I figured I've ripped maybe a third of my CD collection. There's another 3.73 GB of files on my Linux server, accessible to iTunes throughout our house thanks to
Rendezvous Bonjour, the technology Apple developed to allow autodiscovery of services on IP networks.
Last CD I bought:
I generally don't buy CDs one at a time. I just picked up four this afternoon:
My friend Shirley is flying from Ohio to NYC to see these guys next weekend in Brooklyn. Given her impeccable taste, I figured I should find out why.
Buck 65, This Right Here Is An EP
My favorite track on the most recent MetaFilter CD Swap CDs I received was "Wicked and Weird" by hayseed Canadian rapper Buck 65. It's hilarious stuff.
Sloan, A sides win: singles 1992-2005
Since I was going back and picking up on bands that never made it to the center of my radar screen, I figured I would buy this. Also, they're Canadian. Can't say I've ever heard them; just picked this one up on a whim.
Sufjan Stevens, Greetings From Michigan, The Great Lake State
I remember reading reviews of this a couple of years ago. As a born-and-bred Michigander, I couldn't pass this up. I have no idea what to expect from song titles like "Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)".
If I hadn't gone out this afternoon, my list would consist of CDs from Germany or New Zealand, both of which I've received packages from in recent weeks. Best of the New Zealand CDs was Toy Love, Cuts, a comprehensive CD made up of this seminal band's one album, all their singles, and assorted rare tracks. Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate went on to have a long and interesting career as Tall Dwarfs after Toy Love imploded in the wake of many months confronting the indifference of Australian punters as they tried to break Australia. Australia broke them instead. The best of the German CDs is the anarchist band Kapelle Wlodek, Aus Glücklichen Tagen, which sounds like the soundtrack to a movie about Swiss clocks of the 1930s. Near as I can tell, this 1999 work is the only album they ever released. There's very little information about them on the web in English, but true to form, John Peel played them on his radio program back in 2000. There before everyone else again.
Favorite song from that album:
No favorites from the ones I bought today, since I haven't had a chance to listen to most of them.
From the Toy Love CD, it would have to be "Frogs", an apocolyptic tale of insanity that was different every time the band played it, and which gave free reign to Chris Knox's id, foreshadowing some of his work with Tall Dwarfs.
From the Kapelle Wlodek CD, "Wilkommen daheim!" It's not about anything, per se, given that it's instrumental.
Song playing now:
As I write this, Kapelle Wlodek's "Das Kino mit dem Gesicht zum Dorf!", because I had to figure out something to write about "Wilkommen daheim!" and I just let the CD keep playing. But if you go by what was playing when I first started writing this, it was "The House That Jack Kerouac Built" by The Go-Betweens.
Songs I listen to a lot or that mean a lot:
Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, "I Know You Will"
I met my wife because of the album this appears on.
Chris Knox, "Not Given Lightly"
Knox wrote this for his partner Barbara. It's one of the greatest love songs ever written. And he's willing to record a version especially for you. He did for our wedding, and all it took was to send him a few DVDs that he can't get easily in New Zealand.
Ass Ponys, "Dollar A Day"
I could include any of dozens of the Ass Ponys songs, all of which are incredibly well written, but this one gets my vote for including the immortal lines "In the right light she looks like a girl you remember from summer camp / who reached through your rib cage and tore out your heart with a postage stamp". I don't think there's a better songwriter around than Chuck Cleaver. Laura and I sing Ass Ponys songs to each other all the time.
Fela Anikulapo Kuti, "I.T.T. (International Thief Thief)"
This song was my entree into the world of African music. A classic indictment of the intersection of western corporations and third world politicians. From the interest generated by this record came a huge percentage of my record collection.
Log, "Who Is The Silliest Rossi?"
This cover of a Bird Nest Roys song was almost included on Log's first album Light Fuse And Get Away under the wrong name, but my friend Shirley (see above), their bass player and fellow kiwimusic fanatic, had the foresight to ask me what the name of the song was. I corrected their misimpression, and saved them from great public embarrassment. This album was the first, and I think only, time I've been thanked on a record cover, making it a very important record for me. (I think they thanked Laura as well.)
Okay, now it's my turn to irritate five other people by roping them in. Tara, Steve, Kelly, Deb, and pjm, go to it.
Posted at 10:47 PM
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Here's something that will probably be of interest only to members of my immediate family (and maybe not even to them). Danica Patrick, the woman who almost won the Indianapolis 500 this year, is from Roscoe, Illinois, a village of about 1500 people that I spent some of my teenage years in. She went to Hononegah High School in Rockton, the next town over, and the high school I attended for about seven months before we moved to New Jersey.
I can't say I knew her (or, since she was born after we moved away, that I knew her parents), but Roscoe is such a small place that I kind of notice when people from there hit the national stage.
Posted at 11:44 PM
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